Military News

Jimmy Buffett donated two WWII planes to a military museum

In 2022, Jimmy Buffett anonymously donated his planes to a military museum, a secret that was kept until his death.
Miguel Ortiz Avatar
jimmy buffett
(U.S. Navy)

Singer and businessman Jimmy Buffett is perhaps best known for his song and restaurant, both named “Margaritaville.” An avid sailor in his personal life, many of his songs incorporate a nautical theme. However, Buffett was also a trained pilot, often flying his private Dassault Falcon 900 jet during concert tours. His fleet of planes also included a Boeing Stearman and Grumman Goose, both used by the military during WWII. In 2022, Buffett anonymously donated these planes to a military museum, a secret that was kept until his death.

jimmy buffett wwii planes in museum
Buffett’s Grumman Goose and Boeing Stearman on display (USS Alabama Battleship Memorial Park)

On September 1, 2023, Buffett passed away at the age of 76. Two days later, the USS Alabama Battleship Memorial Park’s Facebook page revealed the late singer’s gift. “USS ALABAMA Battleship Memorial Park is thankful to have received a generous donation of two aircraft made by the legendary singer and Mobile native, Jimmy Buffett,” the post read. “When the aircraft first arrived at the park, in 2022, Buffett wished to remain an anonymous donor. As the world mourns his passing, we are pleased to finally be able to share his generous contributions to the park.”

jimmy buffett wwii planes
Buffett’s Goose is restored and assembled (USS Alabama Memorial Park)

The two planes donated by Buffett are currently on display in the Medal of Honor Aircraft Pavilion at the USS Alabama Battleship Memorial Park in Mobile, Alabama. Serving as a primary trainer for the U.S. Army Air Force and U.S. Navy during WWII, thousands of military Stearmans transitioned to civilian ownership after the war. The amphibious Goose was extremely versatile and served as a transport, reconnaissance and rescue aircraft in military service. After WWII, surplus aircraft served the commercial market.

jimmy buffett wwii planes memorial
A tribute by the museum to the late Buffett (USS Alabama Memorial Park)

Buffett’s Stearman, serial number 75-8413, was featured in his 2004 music video for the song “Trip Around The Sun.” The Goose, serial number 1061, was donated to the Royal Canadian Air Force in November 1940 and stationed in Patricia Bay. It flew anti-submarine missions with No. 122 (K) Squadron on the West Coast during WWII. Fittingly, Buffett’s Goose was repainted in RCAF livery for display. Following Buffett’s death, the museum placed a Hawaiian-style shirt and a wreath in front of the Goose in his honor.